In the past 24 hours quite a bit has changed for AMD; the company went from being viewed as one with no competitiveness left, to a well defined leader and competitor in the Enterprise market.

As we've shown in Part 1 of our Opteron Coverage, AMD has a core architecture that is perfectly tailored for the Enterprise market. The K8 architecture, the Opteron processor and x86-64, all rolled into one package AMD likes to call AMD64, were designed from the start to be the Enterprise customer's dream. Although we will eventually see this AMD64 platform on the desktop, there's no getting around the fact that we're dealing with a very high-end product.

The extremely high-end nature of the AMD64 platform is what will unfortunately limit its success in the mobile market (especially in its ability to compete with Intel's Pentium M), but this is the price that must be paid in order to ensure competitiveness in the biggest money maker in the industry - the Enterprise market.

AMD's Opteron launch was met with much more enthusiasm and a much higher degree of support than the Athlon MP launch back in June of 2001. There are more motherboard manufacturers producing Opteron solutions (MSI, Newisys, Rioworks, and Tyan among others) than there were Athlon MP solutions (Tyan was the one and only launch partner in the summer of 2001).

There are also more chipset vendors than just AMD that will be supporting the platform; designing a multiprocessor chipset used to be a difficult task that required millions of R&D dollars, but with the extremely scalable (and low cost) AMD64 architecture, even VIA is offering their K8T400M as an Opteron chipset for the Enterprise market (not to mention NVIDIA's nForce3 Pro).

Today we're taking a look at three 1U servers based on AMD's Opteron, two of which are more conventional designs reminiscent of the Athlon MP servers we've seen and one that you'd think was an Intel server if you didn't look under the hood. What do we mean by that? Keep reading to find out…

Target Market 1: High Performance Computing
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